Monday, 16 April 2012

MORE LIKE IT!

Manchester United recovered from their mid-week blip at Wigan to record a 4-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

I know a lot of the fans will be not be happy with the apparent diving antics of Ashley Young, but I thought he was actually caught yesterday. Yes, he did make the most of it, but there was contact and the ref just about got that decision right. If the need for video technology in football has not been heightened by recent events at OT, then what transpired a few minutes later at Wembley surely made a good case for it. United were on the end of poor decisions at Wigan on Wednesday, the most crucial being that the goal was scored from a corner that should not have been awarded, so I wasn't in the mood of turning down any good luck yesterday. The truth of the matter is that the refs, without technology are incompetent and the sooner FIFA does something about it, the better. That said, I find it amazing that the same lot that argue that technology would slow down the game are the same lot that mourn or 30 days when such decisions are made by the 'well-intentioned' men in the middle. It's such arguments that make me toast to decisions in our favour----the conspiracy theorists can say what they like but the medals are handed out without blemish.

More important than the official was the fact that we managed to restore our five point advantage at the top of the league after City had cut it to two. Scoring 4 also helped to halve the goal difference gap that was threatening to become a chasm. I thought the team did just about well enough, at least better than Wednesday, but Wayne was rightly disappointed with his performance. I know he got a brace and all but he gave away way too many balls and was frustrating in attack. Its a good habit though, to score whilst having a bad game.




Next up is Everton at home on Sunday luch-time---the final game before the derby! We need to get to Wastelands with as big a lead as we have now---possibly only then can we play without nerves as the pressure will be on them to get goals against us. Till then, ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

POST-QPR NOTES WITH A LOOK AHEAD TO WIGAN!

A bit of a be-lated review of the weekend but oh well....

United opened up an 8 point lead with a rather sour victory over QPR at home. I say sour because we could really have done without the controversial sending of of QPR's captain. Ashley Young was offside so the assistant ref should have flagged....but I'm not one to complain too much about decisions going in our favour. Wayne Rooney duly put away the chance but we somewhat seemed disturbed by the injustice or the fact that QPR were now a man short as it took us all of an hour to get the killer goal.

Patrick Vieira recently claimed that recalling Paul Scholes was a sign of desperation from us but after watching him seal the win on Sunday and then watch his side drift further behind us, I'm sure he's finding eating his words a bit bitter.

As far as the title race is concerned, we're now in a position where I'll commit suicide if we manage to throw away the title. An eight point gap with 6 games left should surely be enough for us now, for the simple reason that we have manager who should ensure that at worst we finish a point ahead of City now.
That said, the manager said he'd rest a few legs for tonight's meeting with Wigan; Now whilst it is understandable, given that we have another game on Sunday, we've yet to put up a midfield that can cope minus Scholes and Carrick. Cleverely might come in and he can do a job but the times I've seen him at his best are when he's got Welbeck upfront with whom he has a perfect understanding. Nani and Smalling could be the other players that come in whilst we could see Rio, Scholes and Carrick given a breather.
Ultimately though, I'd gladly take another scrappy win.

Winning the title at the Etihad is now a possibility, or even better is staying so far ahead and earning ourselves a guard of honour at Wastelands.

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

UNITED TAKE THRESHOLD OF TITLE!

Seven games left and another crucial win in the bag---If anyone ever doubted the truth in Manchester United's customary close season relentlessness, then yesterday was more evidence to it. There was a general feeling across England that United were in the least, not going to win on Monday against a Blackburn side that also won at Old Trafford just after Christmas, so much so that Roberto Mancini, after watching his side fail to win for the second time in a week, predicted a draw on Monday night.

The reality was that United had won just 2 of 11 trips to Ewood Park and none since we had Christiano Ronaldo in our team, so it was not hard to see where the pessimism came from.
This season however, is different from any other season that Sir Alex has take us through. Only the Busby Babes can claim to have scored as many goals in the league as this team has amassed at this stage of the campaign. We've also never scored five goals or more on as many occassions as we've done this season. As it stands, we're on the verge of breaking our points record tally in the league and on course to break the all time record of points tally of 95 held by Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.
What I'm trying to say is that we've never been as good in the league as we've been this season. Such has been the determination to see off Manchester City's attempt at possessing our trophy for a year.

It's a given that there are many things about Manchester United that are hard to explain, but I did chuckle last night when Any Townsend failed to explain how a seemingly well worked game plan by Rovers had suddenly been undone by an impossible goal by Antonio Valencia. To be fair to him, nobody could see it coming. Whereas it was always likely that United would eventually find a way through courtesy of a mistake by Steve Kean's well oiled machine or something of the sort, it never seemed likely for the mere reason that they seemed to have our Plan A (get the ball to Valencia) and Plan B (try through the middle) in their back pockets. Valencia's goal cannot in any way be blamed on any Rovers player so poor Andy was left with only the words 'They are Man United' to explain the turn of events.

I personally thought that Blackburn could have been undone much earlier with a little bit of modification of Plan A. Blackburn did always have taller men in the middle to meet crosses from Tony V and let's face it, neither Rooney nor Chicha were ever going to out-muscle them in the air  for a header. But I thought if Tony had whipped in more crosses on the ground rather than in air, we would have got one of those own goals or have the ball at the feet of our forwards much more often; e.g the Hernandez chance in the first half that came within inches of making it over the line.

Special mention to David De Gea and Rio Ferdinand for ensuring that we remain level even as we searched for the breakthrough. It has to be said though, that just about every player yesterday deserved a pat on the back.

When all is said and done, GREAT STUFF by United yesterday. We've made City pay the full price of imploding at this crucial stage of all stages of the season. We now play before them on Easter Sunday against QPR with an almighty chance to go 8 points clear before they kick-off at the Emirates.


GET THE CHAMPAGNE ON ICE!!